The United States government has gathered over 2,700 electronic files as part of evidence for trial in the $1.1million fraud case involving a top Nigerian police officer, Abba Kyari, a court filing has shown.
Other sets of investigative reports and “new discoveries” including documents obtained from foreign law enforcement agencies with over 6,700 pages are being processed by prosecutors, the document also says.
U.S. prosecutors along with three of the six indicted defendants in the fraud case have asked the U.S. District Court for Central California to postpone trial from October 2021 to 17 May, 2022.
The Lawyer reported that the parties jointly filed the application on Friday, citing various reasons for asking for trial postponement.
Apart from the need for additional time by the defence lawyers to prepare for the case, U.S. prosecutors also asked for more time to process troves of documents, including those obtained from foreign countries.
According to the application, the U.S. government has already handed to the defence approximately 2.31 GB of data consisting of 2,707 electronic files.
The files contain, among others, exported chat logs, Cellebrite reports, WhatApp messages, audio recordings, and other social media content, it stated.
It added that prosecutors were processing approximately 6,773 pages of additional discovery expected to be produced in two weeks’ time.
“Defendants are charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud); § 1956(h) (Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering); and § 1028A(a)(1) (Aggravated Identity Theft).
“The government has produced discovery to the defense, including approximately 2.31 GB of native data consisting of 2,707 files including exported chat logs, Cellebrite reports, WhatApp messages, audio recordings, and other social media content.
“The government is currently processing approximately 6,773 pages of additional discovery including investigative reports and documents received from foreign law enforcement agencies for production and anticipates those materials will be produced within approximately two weeks,” the document reads, in part.
Three ready for trial in May, Abba Kyari, two others ‘at large’
Three of the defendants – Rukayat Fashola (aka Morayo), Bolatito Agbabiaka (aka Bolamide), and Yusuf Anifowoshe (aka AJ and Alvin Johnson) – arrested in the United States and subsequently released on bail signed the application for their trial to be postponed to May 2022 along with their separate lawyers and U.S. prosecutors.
The U.S. Acting Attorney for the Central District of California and U.S. Assistant Attorney, Khaldoun Shobaki, signed the application on behalf of the U.S. government.
Ms Fashola with her lawyer, Edward Robinson; Ms Agbabiaka with her lawyer, Daniel Nardoni, and Mr Anifowoshe with his lawyer, Lakeshia Monique Dorsey, also endorsed the application.
But the rest of the three accused believed to be outside the U.S. – Mr Kyari, Abdulrahman Juma, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent – “remain at large,” prosecutors say.